Panzerkampfwagen 35(t) casualties in Westfeldzug

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Panzerkampfwagen 35(t) casualties in Westfeldzug

Post by Peter K » 29 Oct 2008 14:57

What were casualties of Panzerkampfwagen 35(t) in Westfeldzug in 1940 ?

Especcialy I'm interested in number of Totalausfalle.

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Re: Panzerkampfwagen 35(t) casualties in Westfeldzug

Post by Meyer » 30 Oct 2008 23:49

From Panzertruppen vol1 (Jentz):

"After the smoke cleared, the number of Panzers that were determined to be total write-offs or damaged beyond the ability to be repaired in field workshops amounted to:"

Code: Select all

may  1940: 
Pz.I:142  Pz.II:194   Pz.35(t):45   Pz.38(t):43   Pz.III:110   Pz.IV:77   Pz.Bef:38

June 1940:
Pz.I:40   Pz.II:46   Pz.35(t):17   Pz.38(t):11  Pz.III:25   Pz.IV:20   Pz.Bef:31

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Re: Panzerkampfwagen 35(t) casualties in Westfeldzug

Post by Ostkatze » 31 Oct 2008 02:37

More a question / plea for help, than an answer. I used to look on the 35t as an aid to get beyond " loss " #'s, as it was out of production. Not sure if it's much help, with my meagre resourses.

What I show for " total inventory " is 196-202 pre-Poland, 143 pre-Sich. and 189 pre-Barb.

6th. Pz. 120 pre-Pol.; 113 pre-Sich. and 160 for Barb.

The mystery remains, for me at least, what these numbers hide about what was repaired " post field shops ", cobbled together from pieces-parts, training schools or even back from Romania / Hungary ?

To take 62 as " write offs " in more than a temporary sense seems rather high. np.

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Re: Panzerkampfwagen 35(t) casualties in Westfeldzug

Post by NagaSadow » 31 Oct 2008 12:28

The new Panzer-Tracts (19-1) on Beute-Panzer has the same numbers. But it also has something about the factory-repairs:
May 1940 = 7
June 1940 = 5
July 1940 = 13
August 1940 = 19
September 1940 = 17
October 1940 = 10
November 1940 = 13
December 1940 = 8
Total = 92

:)

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Re: Panzerkampfwagen 35(t) casualties in Westfeldzug

Post by Jan-Hendrik » 01 Nov 2008 10:55

The new Panzer-Tracts (19-1) on Beute-Panzer has the same numbers.
Ah, another one for the "must-have"-list :D :D

Thank you!

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Re: Panzerkampfwagen 35(t) casualties in Westfeldzug

Post by peeved » 01 Nov 2008 11:13

"Waffen und Geheimwaffen des deutschen Heeres 1933-1945" by Fritz Hahn has the above loss figures for Pz.I, Pz.II, Pz.38 (t), Pz.III, Pz.IV and Pz.Befehlswagen but not for Pz.35 (t). According to Hahn 45 was the total amount of losses for the latter in the Western campaign as of 30 June 1940, with 128 tanks available in the beginning of Operation Yellow out of an inventory of 143. Hahn doesn't state if these were Totalschaden but if the numbers relate to tanks beyond repair the command tanks seem to have suffered especially heavily with 69 lost out of 135 available for the campaign start and an initial inventory of 244.
Markus

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Re: Panzerkampfwagen 35(t) casualties in Westfeldzug

Post by Ostkatze » 02 Nov 2008 01:10

Thanks for the help guys. The #'s on the repairs of the 35t's would seem to confirm my gut feeling that, with the exception of a few mines or fires, the general lethality of the weapons of that time was pretty low against " heavy metal ".

As to the "losses" of the command tanks, I would vote ( sorry about that, but it's that time of year here ) that any broken down junk Befehls. Pz1 would have been gladly written off to be replaced by anything with some off-road capability and a little more room inside. np.

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Re: Panzerkampfwagen 35(t) casualties in Westfeldzug

Post by peeved » 02 Nov 2008 08:16

Re: the repairability of Pz.35 (t) the Hahn book and "die Panzer-Kampfwagen 35 (t) und 38 (t) und ihre Abarten" by Walter J. Spielberger have some relevant stats. After the occupation of Bohemia and Moravia the Germans acquired 218 (Spielberger: 219) out of the 298 Czechoslovakian Army Pz.35 (t)s.

202 were in Army inventory on 30 September 1939, 112 (Spielberger: 106 Pz.35 (t) + 8 Pz.Bef.Wg.35 (t)) were deployed in the Polish campaign, losses as of 10 October 1939: 77, write-offs -- (?).
On 1 May 1940 143 were in Army inventory and 128 (Spielberger: 128 including 10 Pz.Bef.Wg.) combat-ready for the French campaign, losses as of 30 June 1940: 45 (Spielberger: 62 damaged, 11 write-offs). Assuming that Spielberger's figures are correct the write-offs of Pz.35 (t)s and Pz.Bef.Wg.35 (t)s during Operation Yellow would then be as low as 11.

After 119 Pz.35 (t)s had been repaired
187 were in Army inventory on 1 June 1941, 160 were deployed in the East (Spielberger: 160 including 11 Pz.Bef.Wg.); 149 combat-ready on 1 June, 11 undergoing repairs. AFAIK Hahn doesn't give loss figures for the Pz.35 (t) after June 1940.

These numbers would tend to confirm that the loss figures include a fair amount of repairable tanks even though a portion of the factory repairs would be normal overhauls and modifications.

Markus

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Re: Panzerkampfwagen 35(t) casualties in Westfeldzug

Post by Peter K » 07 Nov 2008 16:17

Hi!

Thanks you all for responses!

What I managed to establish is that both figures from France (62) and from Poland (77) are not write-offs - not Totalshaden.

These figures refer to: “those tanks that could not be repaired within five days [of repair work] as well as those that were total write-offs.” – so these are heavilly damaged (long-term repair) or destroyed tanks.

Of course Jentz makes a mistake and puts into his tabel number of Totalausfalle from Poland (7 - which is, however, probably wrong even as number of Totalausfalle), but from France he gives number 62 - which is not the number of Totalausfalle, but the number which refers to what I wrote above (as well as the number 77 from Poland).
the write-offs of Pz.35 (t)s and Pz.Bef.Wg.35 (t)s during Operation Yellow would then be as low as 11.
Even this figure - 11 - seems to be too high.

According to my calculations (I was basing on Jentz's tabel and Czechoslovakian sources) they only lost 3 such tanks as Totalausfalle in France.

See the figures below (my correction of tabel from Jentz - his tabel has several serious mistakes):

Tabel - original version:

Image

Tabel - my correction:

Number of Panzerkampfwagen 35(t) - 01.09.1939 - 202

Losses during month:

September 1939 - 77
October 1939 to January 1940 - 0
February 1940 - 26 (exported to Bulgaria)
March 1940 - 26 (sent to general renovation ??)
May 1940 - 45
June 1940 - 17
July 1940 to December 1940 - 0
January 1941 - 28 (sent to general renovation ??)
February 1941 to 01.06.1941 - 0

Total: 219

Rebuilt:

September 1939 to April 1940 - 70

May 1940 - 7
June 1940 - 5
July 1940 - 13
August 1940 - 19
September 1940 - 17
October 1940 - 10
November 1940 - 13
December 1940 - 8

January 1941 - 8
February 1941 - 5
March 1941 - 4
April 1941 - 5
May 1941 - 3

Casualties (long-term) total - 219
Rebuilt total – 187
Totalausfalle – 32 (this includes 26 exported to Bulgaria and 6 lost in combat).

Number of Panzerkampfwagen 35(t) - 01.06.1941 - 170

Several sources confirm my calculations.

1. Vladimír Francev, Charles K.Kliment: “Československá obrněná vozidla 1918 – 1948”, ARES, Praha 2004.

In Polenfeldzug:

Number of Pz35(t)s participating in Poland - 112 Pz.35(t)

- 2 tanks were burned in combat and were written-off (production numbers – 50206, 1057).
- 11 tanks were very heavilly damaged in combat (of them 10 were rebuilt in Škoda factories and 1 was written-off – production number 50323).

- 64 more tanks were heavilly damaged and could not be repaired withing 5 days of repair work (but finally all were rebuilt - some of them as late as after several months, as can be seen from the tabel).

2. Janusz Ledwoch: Militaria nr. 7 „PzKpfw 35(T) LT vz.35”, Warszawa 1993.

In Westfeldzug:

Number of Pz35(t)s participating in Westfeldzug - 118 Pz.35(t)

- 0 tanks were burned in combat.
- 15 tanks were very heavilly damaged in combat (of them 12 were rebuilt in Škoda factories and 3 were written-off).

- 47 more tanks were heavilly damaged and could not be repaired withing 5 days of repair work (but finally all were rebuilt - some of them as late as after several months, as can be seen from the tabel).

3. Fall Barbarossa:

Let’s see what were casualties of those tanks in Russia in years 1941 – 1942 (according to Vladimír Francev and Charles K. Kliment again):

During first four months of Barbarossa 6 Pz35(t) were qualified to be written-off. Despite this, in 1941 only one Pz35(t) was written-off. In 1942 10 more Pz35(t) were written-off.

All of numbers above are – of course – official numbers.

Regards!

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Re: Panzerkampfwagen 35(t) casualties in Westfeldzug

Post by Peter K » 07 Nov 2008 16:40

Of course numbers of casualties in Westfeldzug given by Jentz - 836 tanks (62 Pz35(t) included here) - are not numbers of Totalausfalle and they cannot be compared with official number of 236 Totalausfalle (7 Pz35(t) included here) given by Jentz for Poland.

Official combat casualties in Poland (those comparable with the number 836 tanks for France) were 832 tanks, this includes:

Pz 35(t) - 77
Pz I - 320
Pz II - 259
Pz III - 40
Pz IV - 76
Pz Bef III - 13 (according to Fritz Hahn and Jentz as for day 10.10.1939)
Pz Bef 38(t) - 7
Pz Bef other types - 34
Pz 38(t) - unknown

This data was reported in the German report dated for 07.10.1939 - and includes number of tanks of each type which were still not operational on that day due to combat reasons.

In fact - I do not know any author who is giving number of Totalausfalle for Westfeldzug.

All in all - all of known for me sources are giving the following numbers of Panzer casualties (long-term losses) for Polendfeldzug and Westfeldzug, which are comparable:

Polenfeldzug:

Between 792 and 832

Westfeldzug:

Between 753 and 836

Battistelli and Pier Paolo in their book "Battle Orders 32: Panzer Divisions: The Blitzkrieg Years 1939-40", Botley, UK: Osprey Publishing, 2007 - are giving (when writing about Polenfeldzug they are basing only on the lowest given figure - 792 tanks) the following figures:

For Polenfeldzug:

"Serious losses were incurred during the campaign in Poland: they amounted to:

320 PzKpfw I (of which 89 were write-offs),
259 PzKpfw II (83 write-offs),
40 PzKpfw III (26 write-offs),
76 PzKpfw IV (19 write-offs),
77 PzKpfw 35 (t) (7 write-offs, according to certain sources only),
7 PzKpfw 38 (t) (allwritten off) - [this however, is most probably only about PzBef 38(t), number of lost Pz38(t) is unknown]
and 13 PzBefh (5 write-offs) - [this however, is only about PzBef III - as can be concluded basing on Jentz and Hahn and report dated for 07.10.1939]

Looking at the write-offs alone, total losses amounted to between
229 and 236 tanks, 8.8 per cent of the grand total."


For Westfeldzug:

"During the campaign in the West the Panzerwaffe suffered the following losses:

182 PzKpfw I,
241 PzKpfw II,
135 PzKpfw III,
97 PzKpfw IV
and 98 PzKpfw 35/38 (t)

- a total of 753 tanks lost.

Figures given by Hahn present some differences:

240 as opposed to 241 PzKpfw II lost,
45 PzKpfw 35 (t) and 54 PzKpfw 38 (t) lost,
plus 69 PzBefh lost,

thus bringing the grand total to 821 tanks

Jentz's figures only differ for the PzKpfw 35, giving a total of 62 lost.

Taking into account the three different figures given above, during the May-June 1940 campaign in the West the Panzerwaffe lost something between 31.6 and 31.9 per cent of its tanks, clearly demonstrating it was not the 'cake walk' many believed."


As well as every other sources - they are not giving numbers of Totalausfalle for Westfeldzug.

As we know - for example - number of Pz35(t) Totalausfalle was not 62 but is given between 3 and 11.

For Poland 77 Pz35(t) were lost but number of Pz35(t) Totalausfalle is given between 3 (here all production numbers are known) and 7.

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Re: Panzerkampfwagen 35(t) casualties in Westfeldzug

Post by Peter K » 30 Nov 2008 20:46

An interesting photo of Panzerkampfwagen 35(t) of Leutnant Wendtl from 1. Leichte-Division destroyed by indirect artillery fire during the Polish campaign:

Image

I don't know if this one was later repaired or not.

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tank losses in Polen- and Westfeldzug

Post by Michate » 23 Jan 2009 18:51

Here is a scan of a graphical illustration about German tank production (upper half) and irroverable losses (Totalverluste, lower half) from 1939 to 1941. Included are Pz. 1, 2, 3, 4 and 38(t), but unfortunately not 35(t).
I have marked losses during the time of the Polish Campaign (green) and French Campaign (red).

I have taken the graphics from the official German history of WW2:

"Das Deutsche Reich und der Zweite Weltkrieg", edited by the Militärgeschichtliches Forschungsamt; Vol. 5: „Organisation und Mobilisierung des deutschen Machtbereichs“ Tome 1, p. 636.

Primary sources used for the graphics (in case you cannot read the small text at the lower edge of the graphics):
Graphics, BA-MA, RH 8/v.1023;
Überblick über den Rüstungsstand, BA-MA, RH 8/v.1035 ff;
Bestandsmeldungen, BA-MA, RH 8/v.1091
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Re: Panzerkampfwagen 35(t) casualties in Westfeldzug

Post by Peter K » 23 Jan 2009 22:18

First of all - write-offs in April of 1940 are not casualties from Westfeldzug (these are tanks which were written-off due to the Polish campaign or from non-combat reasons).

It should also be checked if write-offs from July are due to Westfeldzug or due to non-combat reasons - but they might be due to Westfeldzug as you marked, of course.

Second of all - this table has got many mistakes. For example between October 1939 and May of 1940 many tanks were written-off (Jentz writes about it) - including 8 Pz-Is written-off after Norwegian Campaign - and in this table there are no any Totalverluste during this period, which is a clear mistake.

Here is something about tank write-offs (according to numbers given by Jentz) between October of 1939 and April of 1940 - but I have already quoted it above in this thread:

http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic. ... 3&start=30

Also Totalverluste (write-offs from Panzerwaffe) in September of 1939 were higher than 217 - the table does not include Totalverluste of Pz-35(t), Pz-38(t) and Pz-Bef of all models in its Polish Campaign section.

Btw - how big are the numbers of Totalverluste given in this table for May / June / July of 1940 because I cannot see what exactly are these numbers in the tabel (poor quality of image)?

As I have already written - Jentz and some other authors give a number of Totalverluste of Panzerkampfwagen 35(t) in Westfeldzug as 45 in May and 17 in June (total 62).

This simply cannot be correct, because between 1st of September 1939 and 22nd of June 1941 the Germans lost only 32 - 33 Panzerkampfwagen 35(t) as Totalverluste - and this includes 26 exported to Bulgaria (non-combat Totalverluste) and only 6 or 7 lost in combat (including at least 3 lost in Polenfeldzug - production numbers: 50206, 1057 - burned out in combat and were scrapped, 50323 - very, very heavily damaged and Skoda factories didn't manage to rebuilt it, so it was scrapped).

On 01.09.1939 the Germans had got 202 Panzerkampfwagen 35(t).

On 01.06.1941 the Germans had got 170 or 169 Panzerkampfwagen 35(t).

It can be clearly seen that they could not lost 62 as Totalverluste in France.

Totalverluste = real Totalverluste - tanks which DID NOT return to duty.

And Jentz (when he writes about France) includes also heavily damaged tanks, which were later rebuilt - and these are NOT irrecoverable losses, because they simply WERE recovered.

But when he writes about Poland - he does not include heavily damaged tanks which were later rebuilt, but only real Totalverluste - because according to his tabels no heavily damaged tanks were rebuilt after the Polish Campaign - as you can see:

Image

,which is simply not true - he compares incorrect - because reffering to different things - numbers from France and Poland.

And - by the way - that his figure for Panzerkampfwagen35(t) total losses in Poland - 7 pieces - might be also not correct (because at least 3 were lost - but 7 may be too high number) - is a different thing.

But some Czechoslovakian sources (Vladimír Francev, Charles K.Kliment: “Československá obrněná vozidla 1918 – 1948”, ARES, Praha 2004) give a number of Panzerkampfwagen 35(t) irrecoverable losses in Westfeldzug as 11 pieces.

So we can assume that irrecoverable losses of Panzerkampfwagen35(t) in Polenfeldzug and Westfeldzug were:

Polenfeldzug - between 3 and 7
Westfeldzug - between 3 and 11 (anyway - both numbers are FAR smaller than 62)

Cheers!,

Domen

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Re: Panzerkampfwagen 35(t) casualties in Westfeldzug

Post by Peter K » 23 Jan 2009 22:22

Michate wrote:from 1939 to 1941. Included are Pz. 1, 2, 3, 4 and 38(t), but unfortunately not 35(t).
And let’s see what were official irrecoverable casualties of those tanks in Russia in years 1941 – 1942 (according to Vladimír Francev and Charles K. Kliment - “Československá obrněná vozidla 1918 – 1948”, ARES, Praha 2004 - again):

During first four months of Fall Barbarossa 6 Pz35(t) were qualified to be written-off. Despite this, in 1941 only one Pz35(t) really was written-off. In 1942 10 more Pz35(t) were written-off (including 5 of those which were destroyed during the previous year).

Now take into consideration that those tanks were involved in very heavy combats near Moscow in 1941.

So - once again I ask - how could the Germans lost 62 Pz-35(t)s as irrecoverable casualties during just two months in France, if they lost 11 of them as irrecoverable casualties during almost two years in Russia (at least according to official sources - the same as for Polenfeldzug 1939)?

They could not - as simple comparision of numbers of available Pz-35(t)s before the French campaign and before the Russian campaign shows.

Best regards!

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Re: Panzerkampfwagen 35(t) casualties in Westfeldzug

Post by Peter K » 24 Jan 2009 01:04

Michate wrote:and irroverable losses (Totalverluste, lower half) from [...] 1941.
Figures from 1941 from this table are about irrecoverable losses only? I do not think so.

Here is something about German tank casualties during Fall Barbarossa in 1941:

http://militera.lib.ru/h/stolfi/10.html
[...] German Tank Losses In the Great Opening Battles of the Russian Campaign [...]

[...] The question has been posed, however: Did the Germans lose so many tanks in fighting their way through massed Soviet vehicles along hundreds of kilometers of unpaved Russian roads that they were checked by the beginning of August 1941?

The striking power of the German panzer forces attacking the Soviet Union on 22 June 1941 is equatable with their 3,102 battle tanks. By early August, to win the campaign. Army Group Center had to begin the attack on Moscow soon and depend for success largely on the number of tanks available. OKH data for August show the Germans early in the month had approximately 85 percent of their tank strength available for combat and only 15 percent as total losses. The Germans still had most of the tanks with which they had begun the campaign, but a significant fraction of these could not advance because of needed repairs. Preparing for an advance as important as that on Moscow, the Germans would make a strong effort to effect those repairs and in Army Group Center would have had approximately 65 percent of their original strength in tanks available to advance on 13 August 1941 and some 20 percent in the work shops{21}. Having started the campaign with 1,780 battle tanks in Army Group Center, the Germans still had approximately 1,157 tanks running and 356 in repair. This impressive number of tanks would have been with the field armies in August for an advance on Moscow and probably augmented by approximately 390 additional tanks from Army Group North. On 4 August, when it appeared possible that Hitler had changed his mind and decided in favor of an advance on Moscow, Guderian and Hoth estimated for OKH that their combat strength for the next offensive, against Moscow, would be 50 percent and 60 percent, respectively{22}. The panzer leaders based their estimates largely on tanks available for the advance. The two panzer groups of Army Group Center were similar in size. Thus the estimates show approximately 55 percent of the original total of tanks in the army group ready for a hypothetical advance on Moscow on about 13 August. The 65 percent estimate in the listing above, applied to Army Group Center, is more optimistic but probably also more accurate than those made by the panzer group leaders for a projected offensive hedged in by Hitler's reservations, excursions, and ancillary tasks. Had they known before the end of July that they would be called on to drive singlemindedly for Moscow, they probably would have achieved the tank percentage suggested above.

German Tanks Available for the Advance on Moscow in August 1941

The figure of 65 percent of the original German tank strength gives a realistic picture of the numbers of tanks the Germans would have used in an offensive against Moscow in the first half of August 1941. The percentage is pessimistic with respect to the remaining striking power of the panzer groups. When the Germans attacked the Soviet Union on 22 June 1941 with 3,102 battle tanks, a significant percentage would have been under repair for the attrition associated with the assembly for Barbarossa. This was particularly true among the panzer divisions concentrated at the last moment in Wave 4b for the offensive{23}. Tanks under repair on 22 June can be estimated at 10 percent, but the important point is that the striking power of the German panzer force was not 3.102 battle tanks but approximately 90 percent of that figure. All German estimates of tank strength after 22 June 1941 use percentages of an original strength of 3,102. This strength was never available because the Germans attacked on 22 June with about 2,792 combat-ready tanks (and 310 in repair). Thus, the Germans on 13 August would have been attacking with an estimated 65 percent of the tanks available on 22 June, but approximately 72 percent of their striking power on the first day of the war. Actual percentages would be slightly different, but the percentages used by the Germans to measure remaining striking power would have to be adjusted upward.

By about 13 August 1941, the Germans had suffered Soviet combat action losses of approximately 12 percent of their original tanks. For Army Group Center, with 1,780 battle tanks in its divisions when it attacked earlier in June, this translates into 214 German battle tanks "knocked out" by Soviet combat action on the eve of the hypothetical German advance on Moscow. [...]

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